Today is Oklahoma's centennial. They've been celebrating all year, so I'm not really sure how they're delineating this particular day, but I thought that I'd make the effort to extend birthday wishes, too.
With that done, I'd also like to make another, more political and less socially accepted delineation...
Part of celebrating any milestone birthday is looking back at past accomplishments, while gracing over its blemishes, and this 100th celebration is no different. It's difficult to talk about Oklahoma history without mentioning the massive disservice that this state and this country have done to the native American people, but again they're getting the shaft.
Cue the protest. And it's not like there's a surprise here -- it's been planned. See this article from last week's paper. Or watch this video from last week's news. And (this is the hard part) think for yourself...
Is it good enough? Is setting aside a few hours THE DAY BEFORE the "real celebrations" making an effort to include our native Americans or is it another example of forcing them with the short end of the stick, another proverbial blanket infected with small pox? Are we merely celebrating 100 years of theft?
I may be at work right now, but in spirit I'm marching downtown as part of a peaceful protest that may or may not make the evening news. I may not be a card-carrying native American, but I am proud of my Cherokee heritage, and appalled at the extreme ignorance that the many Oklahoma celebrations have overlooked.
Our native Americans have, yet again, been given the shaft. Happy birthday, Uglyhoma.